WWF Championship Wrestling November 16, 1985

November 16th, 1985
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura (subbing for Bruno, who is teaming with his son, David tonight) and Vince McMahon.
In action tonight are Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat. Plus, Tito Santana & Pedro Morales, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, and the team of Mike Rotundo & Junkyard Dog.

Dave Barbie & Tiger Chung Lee vs. Mike Rotundo & Junkyard Dog w/ Capt. Lou Albano
When asked about JYD’s performance on the “Wrestling Album,” Jesse said that he sounded like he was singing with a “mouthful of grits.” Jesse then makes fun of Rotundo’s haircut, saying that he looks like he is getting ready to join the Coast Guard. The match starts with Rotundo and Lee on the mat. Barbie tags and Rotundo immediately takes him down before tagging JYD, who works the arm. Jesse is on fire ragging on JYD as Barbie puts him in a bearhug. Lee tags and chops JYD until he gets headbutted. Barbie tags and gets headbutted then Rotundo enters and catches him in the airplane spin for the win (3:06). After the match, Jesse questions if Albano is managing JYD, with Vince saying that he is only managing Rotundo. JYD then “jukes” with some kids in the ring as Vince is truly in all his glory as Jesse rags on JYD some more.
Thoughts: Windham was officially gone at this point and unsurprisingly, no mention of him was made on commentary. Anyway, these two had zero chemistry as a team but the match was just an excuse to put out JYD to get the fans excited. This was the last show of the taping and they can drag at times so it was a good idea, IMO.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week, Hulk Hogan is the subject with Hayes putting over his popularity and how he is in high demand amongst those in the media. They then show a clip of Hogan and Orndorff posing in the ring.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Jim Haley
Haley attacks Steamboat from behind to start. He hits a few clotheslines that all looked terrible. He then waddles across the ring and drops a knee. Steamboat fights back and chokes out Haley with the tie from his robe. He chops Haley a bunch before hitting a backdrop. He dropkicks Haley out of the ring, who had too fat to get it right on the first try. He follows Haley outside and chops the shit out of him and when they get back inside, he suplexes him. Steamboat hits a flying chop before putting away this no talent with a flying body press (3:06).
Thoughts: Holy shit was Haley awful in the ring. Steamboat had to do everything and the match still sucked. Steamboat was fairly over with the crowd though so that helped.
Mean Gene is with Paul Orndorff, talking about his cage match against Roddy Piper in Los Angeles. Orndorff said that it will never be settled between him and Piper and rants and raves about having to wrestle in a cage, because they are for animals.
Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Jim Powers & S.D. Jones
Volkoff clotheslines Powers as the fans chant against the heels. Powers comes back with a sunset flip then tags Jones, who hits a headbutt before tagging out. Powers backdrops the Sheik but misses a dropkick. Blassie holds his head as the Sheik crashes down on his neck. He suplexes Powers before tagging Volkoff, who puts Powers away with the backbreaker (2:00).
Thoughts: Ugly match but the crowd still hated the evil foreigners.
Okerlund now interviews Piper about his cage match against Orndorff. Not his best interview to say the least. He really phoned in this one.
Pedro Morales & Tito Santana vs. Barry O. & John Rizzo
Tito works the arm of Barry but gets caught with a dropkick. Tito dodges a second attempt then hits a pair of slams. Tag to Pedro who hits a backdrop and gets a nearfall with a small package. Jimmy Hart joins the booth and says that he and Terry Funk have surprises in store for everyone next week and tells both JYD and Tito Santana to beware. Tito beats on both guys then tags Pedro, who puts Rizzo away with a rollup (3:29).
Thoughts: The main part of this match was Hart on commentary warning everyone that Terry Funk was coming next week. Tito was getting dragged down a bit by teaming with Pedro. As the IC champ, he wrestled a ton of tag matches during this run, which was less successful than his previous reign.
Piper’s Pit with guest Corporal Kirchner. Piper riles up Kirchner about the military and stating that the people hated him when he came back home for killing innocent people. Kirchner then grabbed the mic and screamed some “Patriotic” stuff about loving his country. The fans reacted to this but not nearly as much as when Sgt. Slaughter was doing the gimmick.
Rick Hunter vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
The crowd starts a massive “Hogan” chant geared towards Savage, who responds by running out and attempting to tear up Hogan signs. Savage works the arm then catches Hunter with a knee. He then hits a slam before putting him away with the flying elbow smash (1:00). After the match, Savage grabs the mic and asks the crowd about Hogan’s whereabouts as he tears up another Hogan sign. Jesse jokes that Hogan is in his usual spot, hiding in the corner.
Thoughts: Tremendous heel work by Savage, who was facing Hogan on the same Los Angeles show that had the Piper vs. Orndorff steel cage match. Man, those two matches alone make that card a must-see show, even if the rest of the card is filled with jobbers going at each other. Savage might have been the best all-around wrestler in 1985. He was unreal and on a whole other level than his peers in the WWF.
Mr. X & Steve Lombardi vs. David & Bruno Sammartino
Bruno starts the match by shoving Lombardi out of the ring. He then leapfrogs Lombardi and comes back with a pair of armdrags. Both guys tag out as David hits an armdrag before catching Mr. X with a press slam. Jesse calls Bruno an egomaniac who should retire as Sammartino tosses around Lombardi. He then gets caught with a punch by Mr. X before tagging Bruno. He kicks both men before tossing them to the floor then tags his son. He suplexes Lombardi then lays into him with chops before putting him away with the powerslam (4:04). The crowd popped big for the finish. Bruno then challenges Jesse to come into the ring, who bashes him on commentary.
Thoughts: Bruno could still move around in the ring and looked decent. The crowd dug the pairing too. A nice way to finish the show.
Next week, Don Muraco and Paul Orndorff are in action. Plus, Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer, Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine, and a Women’s Battle Royal. Also, Terry Funk will be here and Piper’s Pit with King Tonga as the guest.
Final Thoughts: A solid show this week. The big difference was Jesse on commentary, who was hilarious. The broadcast was a lot livelier with him subbing for Bruno. Speaking of Bruno, it was nice to see him tag with his son David. Also, Savage was brilliant again with his heel antics. Next week should be interesting too with Funk apparently going after people.